Skip to main content

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic biopic revels in his passion for parodies

“Weird Al” Yankovic is anything but ordinary. The 63-year-old is an exceptional comedic genius who became the world’s greatest parody songwriter and musician. For someone who made a career on parodies, it makes sense that the film documenting his life story, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, is a parody of the standard biopic.

Directed by Eric Appel, Weird is a satirical film loosely based on the life and work of Yankovic. Daniel Radcliffe stars as Yankovic, the aspiring comedic musician who rises to superstardom with early hits like My Bologna, I Love Rocky Road, and Another One Rides the BusWeird combines some accurate moments from Yankovic’s life with over-the-top fictitious storylines to fuel the “sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll” themes of previous biographical films.

“People think they know who Weird Al Yankovic is, but after seeing this movie, they’re going to realize that they had absolutely no idea,” said Appel in a behind-the-scenes interview.

WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story | Behind the Scenes | The Roku Channel

Weird’s cast includes several well-known figures and artists who crossed paths with the comedic musician. Madonna (Evan Rachel Wood), Dr. Demento (Rainn Wilson), Pablo Escobar (Arturo Castro), and Oprah Winfrey (Quinta Brunson) are a few of the notable artists featured throughout the film. In particular, Madonna plays a vital role in the film due to her dramatic love affair with Yankovic, and the fact that her hit song Like a Virgin inspired Yankovic’s Like a Surgeon.

“Along the way, there are obviously ups and downs, including a torrid and tempestuous love affair with Madonna,” said Radcliffe. “And he rises to become, as we all know, to become the most popular musician in the history of the Earth.”

Madonna and Weird Al romantically stare into each other's eyes for Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Co-written by Appel and Yankovic, the idea for this biopic was first conceived in 2010 when Appel created a fake trailer for a film based on Yankovic’s life for Funny or Die. Since the film’s premiere at TIFF2022, Weird has been praised for its satirical nature, humor, and Radcliffe’s performance. In true Weird Al fashion, he seems to be happy with the final result and recommends that everyone should have a biopic about their own lives.

“It’s an odd process, having your life portrayed on screen, but um I recommend it,” said Yankovic. “If anybody comes up to you and offers to make some kind of major motion picture biopic, I say go for it. Let them do it. It’s a unique experience everybody should do at least once.”

Daniel Radcliffe as Weird Al.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story is now available to stream for free on The Roku Channel.

Editors' Recommendations

Dan Girolamo
Dan is a passionate and multitalented content creator with experience in pop culture, entertainment, and sports. Throughout…
Daniel Radcliffe to play Weird Al Yankovic in new biopic
Daniel Radcliffe will play Weird Al Yankovic.

As a young actor, Daniel Radcliffe made his name in the Harry Potter film series, but he'll be portraying a real music hero in his next role. Deadline is reporting that Radcliffe has signed on to play musician “Weird Al” Yankovic in a new biopic for The Roku Channel. Appropriately, it will be called Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, with a screenplay by Yankovic and Eric Appel, the latter of whom is also slated to direct the film. Appel previously directed a short version of Weird: The Al Yankovic Story in 2010 for Funny or Die, which is set to produce the film with Roku.

For the last four decades, Yankovic has stood out from the pack by parodying his fellow musicians with infectiously catchy comedic songs performed in different styles. According to Roku, Yankovic's biopic will "hold nothing back and explore every facet of his life, from his childhood through his meteoric rise to fame with early hits like 'Eat It' and 'Like a Surgeon,' while touching on his torrid celebrity love affairs and famously depraved lifestyle." Obviously they're kidding about the love affairs and the "famously depraved lifestyle."

Read more
7 great Christmas movies you can watch for free
A boy talks to Santa in A Christmas Story.

There's nothing quite like getting together with the family and watching Christmas movies to celebrate the holidays (except maybe watching them free of charge).

Thankfully, there are a handful of terrific seasonal films that can be streamed online without the need to pay, so viewers don't have to wait for TV channels to broadcast some of their favorite holiday classics. However, they may not be free of charge when December ends, so audiences should watch these seven Christmas films while they still can.
A Christmas Story (1983)

Read more
Where to watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
The cast of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

Forty years ago, the Griswold family found out that "it's a long way down the Holiday Road" during their big screen debut in National Lampoon's Vacation. The Griswolds returned in 1985 with the first sequel, National Lampoon's European Vacation. However, the Griswold clan has perhaps become best known for the third movie, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, which arrived in theaters in 1989 on its way toward becoming a holiday favorite.

Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo are the only actors to have stayed with the franchise through all five films, including Vegas Vacation in 1997 and Vacation in 2015. Chase and D'Angelo have been playing Clark and Ellen Griswold since 1983, but their kids have been recast in every subsequent film. In Christmas Vacation, Johnny Galecki and Juliette Lewis stepped in to play the Griswold children, Rusty and Audrey.

Read more